Almost 90% of Korea’s birds are migratory. As they have done for millennia, many birds come here from the south; and many more will migrate further north, crossing the DMZ and the Baekdu Massif into China and Russia for the summer, some even migrating as far north as Alaska. Their annual migrations reveal the deep physical and ecological connections between south and north, east and west; between the marine waters, tidal-flats, freshwater wetlands, grasslands and forests of this region. None of these birds recognize national borders: they experience the world differently to us. But if we choose to open our eyes and minds, their migrations can nonetheless help us also to see clearly all that connects our region – place to place, species to species and even people to people.
Their migration means of course that the conservation of Korea’s birds requires international collaboration and action. Birds Korea has therefore involved in research and conservation work throughout the ROK; in inner border areas; and also throughout the wider region. The Hanns Seidel Foundation (Korea) has also for many years been working throughout this vast and complicated region. In recent years, they have supported training workshops and programs for wetland conservation, and rice-field and forest management in Korea and throughout much of Northeast Asia. Many of our organisations’ aims are shared. And together, Birds Korea and the Hanns Seidel Foundation have already conducted bird surveys in Rason and close to the border with China; we have together counted seabirds in Goseong County, in the inner border region of Korea; and we have shared materials on forest management.
Toward ever-greater national and international collaboration for the conservation of Korean birds and the shared environment, we are therefore pleased to announce that Birds Korea has this month signed a two-year Memorandum of Understanding with the Hanns Seidel Foundation (Korea). With this MOU, both organisations agree to collaborate in common projects aimed at the promotion of a peaceful solution to the problems on the Korean Peninsula.
In accordance with our MOU, together we will continue to do what we can for the conservation of birds and their habitats, for the benefit of all birds and all peoples. Please join us.